The Black Knee Chronicles
by Hugh Frazer
An Exploration of Family Legends
The Frazers of Dunnacleggan have a tradition that they are the
rightful heirs to Lovat, but the details have been lost. There is
also a legend of a prophesy that the family fortune would be
restored by a Frazer with a black mark on his left knee. I was
born with a black birthmark behind my left knee, so who knows.
The Black Knee Chronicles started as a transcription of my
grandfather's researches published as booklets to share the
information around the family and interested friends. It is a
Nearly all of the material so far is from the research and notes
of my Grandfather, Wilson Frazer, asssisted by his brother Joseph.
There are four theories that have been put forward:-
- That we are descended from Alexander Fraser, elder brother of
Simon Lord Lovat of the '45. See Joseph
Frazer's letter to the Daily Mail, London, during the 1884
challenge to the Lovat title by John Fraser. A family for
Alexander has never been established and it is thought that he
died of wounds received at Killicrankie.
- A great deal of research by Wilson and Joseph led to the
belief that our elusive ancestor was Simon Fraser of Brea. See The
Fraser of Brea Theory. Again many years of study have
failed to unearth a family for this gentleman either.
- My Grandfather finally concluded that Simon Lord Lovat married
another time in France, as evidenced by the Letters
of Sir John Maclean, and that our ancestor Archibald was
the issue of that obviously ill-fated union. See Volume 1 below
for the first part of Wilson's notes.
- Following my own research, I put forward another theory that
the much maligned marriage between Simon, later Lord Lovat, and
the Dowager Lady Lovat was a much more complex affair of
considerable substance with issue, and that much of the infamy
attributed to the Old Fox is the result of a very sustained and
successful character assassination by John Murray, Duke of
Atholl, and brother of the Dowager, for the purpose of gaining
control of the Lovat estates. This is not ready for publication
as yet, but real soon now, watch this space, and other thoughts
The very existence of these theories emphasises that we really
have lost the knowledge of Archibald's parentage, and, as any
sensible genealogist would suggest, it may be that the tradition
is a fabrication, perhaps invented to hide an illegitimate link.
Maybe the quest for an answer will find the truth, and truth can
be stranger than fiction.
Any contribution of knowledge, positive or negative, is most
Volume 1 - October 1990
Volume 2 - May 1991
Volume 3 - December 1992
Volume 4 - July 1996
Volume 5 - August 1996